Arsenal 1 Aston Villa 3: Everything went wrong, admits Arsene Wenger

Arsenal 1 Aston Villa 3: Arsene Wenger admits "everything went wrong" after 10-man Gunners are beaten at home

Arsenal
1
Aston Villa
3

Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal’s dramatic opening-day loss came as a “huge blow” as the Gunners were condemned to defeat by an impressive Aston Villa.

Olivier Giroud got Arsenal off the perfect start with a smart finish to put the hosts 1-0 up in the sixth minute at The Emirates, but Christian Benteke headed in an equaliser after Wojciech Szczesny saved his initial penalty.

Benteke then gave Villa the lead from the penalty spot in controversial circumstances after Laurent Koscielny was adjudged to have fouled Gabriel Agbonlahor, despite replays suggesting the France international won the ball with his tackle.

Matters then worsened for Wenger’s men when Koscielny was sent off for a second bookable offence, before Villa debutant Antonio Luna added a third to cap a miserable opening day for the Gunners.

“We are hugely disappointed to start with a defeat. It is a huge, huge blow for us,” said Wenger. “We started well but, after that, everything went wrong – injuries, decisions, going down to 10 men and the chances missed.

“It was a bad day, not on the quality of our display but everything went against us.”

Wenger continued: “I’m not happy with the [second penalty] decision but I’m more unhappy with the spirit the referee let the game go in, I was quite amazed.

“But it’s not my job to talk too much about that, I have to take care of the team. What hurts me is to disappoint people who love the club.

“All the rest I have to live with, but I’m here to make people happy and when I do not I can only say sorry and come back and make them happy in the next game.

“We could have won the game today with the players we had on the pitch, I’m convinced of that.”

Boos and jeers rang out around The Emirates at the final whistle as many Gunners fans made their discontent at Arsenal’s lack of activity in the summer transfer market heard.

And asked about potential transfers before the close of the current window, Wenger added: “We were on the market before the game and it is the same after the game.”

Villa boss Paul Lambert, meanwhile, was thrilled by his side’s gutsy performance, and reserved special for goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who made a string of impressive saves in the second half to deny Arsenal an equaliser.

“After weathering the early storm we were outstanding, especially on the counter-attack,” said Lambert.

“We were absolutely frightening at times – Gabriel Agbonlahor produced as good a performance as I’ve seen in many a year, he was unplayable.

“We were very strong at the top of the pitch but all round Agbonlahor was frightening with his speed. Brad Guzan also produced two world-class saves. We were well worthy of winning the game.”

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